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  • Writer's pictureJohn Graybill

Medicine Crow - Apsaroke

Updated: Nov 3, 2020

Medicine Crow
Medicine Crow - Apsaroke (plate 117)

The hawk fastened on the head is illustrative of the manner of wearing the symbol of one's tutelary spirit.

Born 1848. Mountain Crow; member of the Newly Made Lodge clan and of the Lumpwood organization. At eighteen he fasted four days and three nights, and on the morning of the fourth day a spirit resembling a white man appeared and foretold the passing away of the buffalo and the coming of many white men with cattle, horses, and steamboats. His medicine of hawk was purchased from another man. Counted three first coups, captured five guns and two tethered horses, and led ten successful war-parties. In a fight with the Nez Percés he killed a warrior, counted first coup upon him, and captured his gun — two regular honors at one time, besides the distinction of killing an enemy. This act he twice repeated in battles with the Arapaho and the Sioux. Twice he fought on the side of the white men when "their flag was on the ground": once against the Nez Percés in Chief Joseph's retreat, and again under General Crook when the Sioux under Sitting Bull were fleeing across the Canadian border. Medicine Crow participated in ten severe fights, killed three men, had two horses shot under him, and had the distinction of having "thrown away" six wives.*

*From Edward Curtis' North American Indian Volume 4 pg 203

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